Ryan Reynolds Says Kevin Feige Rejected His ‘Rashomon’-Inspired Pitch for ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’

Is Marvel combatting superhero fatigue by incorporating aspects of classic cinema? Not yet apparently, but Ryan Reynolds seemed very interested in doing so at one point. Speaking to Empire for a cover feature on “Deadpool & Wolverine” in next week’s issue, Reynolds told them his first pitch to Kevin Feige for the film was a “‘Rashomon’ story about Wolverine and Deadpool and something that they got into together, but told from three completely different perspectives.”

For context, “Rashomon” is a 1950 Jidaigeki drama from Akira Kurosawa that was the first Japanese film to receive international acclaim, winning the Golden Lion at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, as well as an Honorary Oscar in 1952. The film tells the story of how a samurai was murdered, multiple times through multiple vantage points. Its plot has been repurposed in a number of films and television series over the decades including “The Outrage,” “Courage Under Fire,” episodes of sitcoms like “All in the Family” and “Frasier,” and most recently in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Monster.”

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To Reynolds, he viewed using “Rashomon” as “a way to make a large-scale movie in a very small way,” but Marvel chief Kevin Feige had bigger and smaller things to worry about at the time of hearing this take. He told Empire, “The truth is, I wasn’t even sure how to incorporate Deadpool yet. I was very much thinking about how to bring mutants and the X-Men into [the MCU], and I thought it needed to be more than just playing the hits. But the truth is, Ryan is an idea machine. So he may have pitched that to me, but he also pitched 25 other thoughts and ideas.”

Despite Feige’s initial disinterest, Reynolds didn’t slow down. He said to Empire, “I went back to the drawing board, and I wrote up about 18 different treatments. Some of them almost like a Sundance film, a budget of under $10 million, sort of using the IP in a way that they previously hadn’t used, and I pitched bigger movies, and I pitched things in-between.”

It would seem that, according to Reynolds, there’s more than one way for a Wolverine to skin a Deadpool, but to find out which way they landed on, we’ll have to wait to see “Deadpool & Wolverine,” in theaters July 26, 2024.

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